could have changed their live. they could have known, number one, that their anxieties were not unique, that their problems were not unique, and that they could have found ways of mending the problems. i was in the prison yesterday with kids, 16 are 18, some of them were in jail for murder. to see a young man 16 years old who is now facing 39 years of life in jail and understanding, another family that suffered a loss, it's shocking. here is a man i wish that i could have grabbed when he was
seven or eight and may be taught his parents or caretakers are grandparents to reading skills. i could have done that. i think i could make a difference. >> obviously as your continuing motivation, hopes he can make a difference. >> i tried to correspond with them. the system does not make it easy to correspond with these people because they are not allowed typewriters. there are only allowed a small list. it's difficult. >> part of your second year as well. travelling ambassador. we're also making an effort to send altered to other parts of the country. i heard a rumor you're going to making your first trip to south dakota.
>> of never been. >> of the cut of book festival. and that will be a center. we also have you going to florida just to keep you on the east coast for part of this. in between each stop is a chance to try to see and people in some of the detention centers. i have another question for you. i see you are wearing a rather handsome metal. would you? >> you can touch it. but it means we are dating. >> won the we have had made for our various national ambassadors the first one has continued to where his. not quite as frequently caught wearing harris.
>> awkward in the shower. [laughter] >> tell me how you felt when you learned you were selected as national ambassador to iraq. >> you know, i have been looking at this for many years. i have seen the gaps. especially in the english speaking countries. and i have been very much concerned. so while i am very grateful for the opportunity to spread the word and to our read so much about literacy and all the research that has been done, it is their responsibility. it is a responsibility that i take very seriously. i hope i don't finish this. this term, this year, my life to
my being useful. i want to be useful. on my tombstone, he was useful. live the long time. i want to be useful. it i don't want just to say the words, i want to make a difference. >> you already are. i think you on behalf of not only a library of congress and the children's book council and every child, but on behalf of the audience and for our country , the wonderful job your doing. walter dean myers a round of applause. [applause] >> thank you. >> we continue our coverage of the international summit of the book with the panel tell the role of cultural institutions and foster in the future of the book.
this is about 50 minutes. >> we are coming to the second session of our day which would be a panel discussion on the role of cultural ostentations and posturing and the future of the book. i will turn to the panel's moderator to introduce the panelists once we are all on stage. sir harold is a distinguished feature in publishing in journalism. i'm sure you've heard of him. president and publisher of random house and the trade group, the founding editor, mass travel magazine, editorial director of an vice-president of u.s. news and world report and the daily news, atlantic monthly and company. currently editor at large for reuters. you may know him, as i do, as the author of the book the american century. one of the world's most distinguished journalists, and
as we see, the highest awards for his lifetime achievement. please welcome sir harold evans. [applause] >> thank you. my contribution to my grandfather was electorate. and never forget the time my father was reading the daily times which i was the netting. my father was a steam train driver who left school at 11 per love reading. he flung the paper on one side. he said, isn't it amazing that you are editing this paper and your grandfather could not have read a word of it. and so that was the influence really of reading my father and then my mother who left school at 11 and went to work in a cotton mill. so the rest of this.
we are going to have a discussion on how we can actually get people to read. there was no question obviously. you can find all about her in the program. distinguished librarian. i was greatly taken when she referred a book to me that i had never heard before. i had been fretting the last 30 years about a disappearance of the book. the difficult life. part copy. anyway, redeemed my faith. here is somebody else. refugee from publishing. not doing good work.
and. well, a very important panel really. when you think about it, apart from telling about my grandfather, i just came. my university. not make a speech in the cathedral, but always reminded whenever i go back, such an important institution. the rise of christianity and also the book. from just want to read you one little thing here. we're going back to the eighth century. but 790. and in the codex, which many of you will know, testified as
follows. in the name of our lord jesus christ i obtain these books from the he an army, the vikings, now known as danes, this as -- one of the most civilized nations in the world. incredible. queries oprah everybody. so in the name of our lord jesus christ, that he is an army, that was, and we do for the love of god and the benefit of our souls and because we did not wish these holy books to remain longer in he and possession
domino we wish to given to the present glory and honor. so the whole rise, the book is absolutely crucial. i want to start with, terrified at the moment, especially in the publishing world which i to escape from and books. how can we encourage people to read? does it matter? whether they read the book digitally on line are not. does it matter? >> you mentioned the container. >> you mentioned the container. >> thank you. we are finding, speaking from the public library perspective, that we are actually attracting more people with the whole of the digital container. in fact, we just received a grant to expand the publishing
industry going through all of this challenge, a grant to provide more the book titles and also to actually loan e-readers to the public so that they can download and then walk out of a library with this reader. >> they can download. they can also have the book. we are finding that actually it is encouraging the act of reading. >> i'm going to come back to you . based publisher here. so you don't care whether it's in the book. >> i think as long as people are reading it does not matter what the words are contained in. the generational shift. >> what about the beauty of the book.
>> i love books. i don't know that the next generation will have the same experience that i grew up with in terms of the tactile experience, the physical experience. and as a professional who is concerned with getting a workout , i don't care as long as they are having that solitary experience with the work of a writer. it breaks my heart. i mean, i think the container is beautiful. i really love to look at a book. and not sure if she's here yet. i the of to look at the decisions the publisher is made with the writer about whether the book is going to have embossing, whether it will have ragged edges. i love to watch people in bookstores touch books and have that tactile experience, but i think ultimately what we did is something so deep and personal
and about this kind of 1-on-1 experience between the reader and writer that however that happens when need to encourage it. technology is bringing us someplace else. as long as we keep the artist in our fold in keep readers and writers connected we will be okay. >> directing your energies like continuing the trustee in the preservation of all that means billion don't care whether it's physical or digital. >> and $0.1 the agency that i had, because i hate to speak exclusively, a love affair with the printed word.
not on how something was presented, we were very public oriented. so you do everything you possibly can to move into the public domain. that implies you use every conceivable restaurant. we are in the knowledge development and the knowledge dissemination. we do a film. we preserve will books. we help finance the writing of new books. then we try to bring the public in texas to analysis. therefore we are very big into digitization. one of my favorite quotes, the archivist to lexus said particularly in the area of research, many young people, scholars from if it is in on the
internet it doesn't exist. that's a fairly awesome thought. and so that means that it speaks to nextel's as well as tech ~. i think real identify with that, but we also identify with what i hope is that dual circumstance, have a book with paper and also have a book that is excess, access to the internet which is almost the ideal world when you're speaking of the book. that is beyond our power. that is going to be a public choice. >> discontinued. as a former children's librarian i have to say, research has found, the book of the object of that container, that's where
you're getting the earliest and most important experiences. that is where you find a wonderful embossing. if you have ever seen children's picture books. you would know that is where this type of creativity, the digital is not as useful and helpful. flirting in having that appreciation of the object that can happen. >> somebody gave me. this incredible. some really important when you mention. like to ask. everybody here. a young man, depressed by the
lower level of books that are available to children. the best books we had, immediately. i give them abridgments. no longer available the publishing. so what can you do. to actually make the reading experience and excitement for children. all the arguments, the fanatics. but how can you actually get that excitement. you have got that on the map reading have to go through all the stuff, but then when you get to children's books, when i was a father, i still am a father. >> i found that very frustrating
what can you do about that. >> welcome the challenge and people. i think we ought to bring back the former speaker, the investor. my wife is a children's book writer. she writes in art history. she finds that it is enormously helpful to involve the visual. in fact and at the end stages the great books are pictures with a few words. and they get more and more sophisticated. that might be a step backwards. the challenge in america when you look at the statistics and crime. kids that do not learn to read have an overwhelming factor that there was but a lot of time in jail. and so this is a national
challenge for all of us. the other aspect is, what is relevant to consider a. you can hardly dictate relevance . there are aspects of the imagination that people seek out . and sometimes in the worst kinds of circumstances the greatest kind of joy, i saw a demonstration of this this seems really got that implies in the book from the other visual medium, nonprofit organization gave a colony of people living in the country of lebanon that they were refugees and therefore in a camp. all the kids a small automatic camera. they took pictures. they were astonished that every single picture almost without exception, the kids by instinct chose someone smiling, something
money. a grace this mystique -- sesame street is found. a great appeal of a new world. the way the adventures of life. and so there seems to be something of very young and the human spirit that six something, not just exactly the same but something somewhat different. >> the dinner table about three weeks ago i sat with the three year-old and a year-old. the parents are novelist and poet. and i was shocked to see the four year-old spending quite a lot of time on the family. there's more than one in that house. and reading. the zero publishing, offended. how can you let this child play
with this device at the table. meanwhile, the year-old is in her book, the book or at school, very high up. she kind of looks down on her brother because she thinks she is more adult. the parent said, it doesn't matter. this is what turns them on. the screen that he is playing with, if he's getting through a book from beginning to end, we don't care. when he goes to bed is the time of the book. that's the rule, but at the table that keeps them happy and occupied to read dr. seuss electronically. >> between a smile on my face and so on and the video games, most people today.
>> that's an issue for the parents. i don't think that's an issue for those of us working in the arts and humanities. that's about parenting. but the smaller and more efficient devices become, as we grow technologically as a culture, certainly the more distractions every device will have on it. but i think, you know, you and i can look back to the publishing industry crying about the vcr. oh, my god, the vcr will run the industry because people won't have these big things to turn into machines. it will read any more. every generation has some. every generation has maintained a commitment to reading because its primary commandment, and it defines as culturally. so i think we should keep video games.
>> the first thing a did was reach out to library of classics. the best thing we have, the bbc. during jane austen. so what we publish pride and prejudice again. by the way, published jane austen again. the television series with the image. we sold out. we shall let the first, second. completely rediscovered banks to the tv. the relationship between hollywood movies and literature. showtime. arguing it's okay to depart from
the literature of the book. a dramatic optional moment. it intrigued me. >> i think all librarians can attest to the power of having popular media take a book right after it's on television or in the movies. we have a rush of people, and then we use that kind of sneakily to say, if you like this try that. and we do that. the other thing that ambassador meyers -- >> by the way, in my lifetime the biggest thing i mean librarians to say this is a book for you, and so it proved to be. >> and that's the key. having someone there. so pleased to hear the ambassador said. they should not be defensive about reading not optional. going to take you away.
joyous. it's not optional. it just me to say that. when you have in many households you don't have that culture of people who provide that opportunity for young people, grabbing them when they're seven or eight or even beyond and providing an opportunity for the family to read together. we have a program called family reading circles. we use high-quality picture books. and the parents are caregivers share those with the and people. the family. and transitional homes. the housing projects and things like that. most of the time the adults have very low literacy levels. the picture books give them an opportunity to share. and it turns into a discussion.
>> oh, my goodness. we have a 38 percent of adult illiteracy rate. >> 38%. >> totally illiterate. think about ten to five more percentage that are barely literate. that is why we look at technology as a way, it's nonthreatening. the sense that they are reading with these tools. trying to grab them however we can. >> how many libraries. the trustee, obviously the start of it. the support among the logistics' programs. but how many libraries or how many public institutions, apart from schools, actually have
literacy programs for people who can't read a word and a totally ashamed to even admit it. >> the american library association is really strong on this issue, and we have adult illiteracy, very large dimensions in the country. some of it related to immigration, some of the related to a a greater amount of dyslexia than we ever imagined. and so any substantial library does have a literacy program. >> we run the nation's largest literacy. >> we are two floors apart. i'm very fond of his wife. my colleague. the endowments are so different in terms of their mission really , but utterly complementary. would you say?
>> just to be very precise, and to creativity. and so that means poetry, music, the humanities and the perspective. history, literature, philosophy, although related disciplines. we, its other and have overlaps. if you put the word history out before any subject befalls and to the endowment. history of art. it goes to me. >> what we find it. >> selling mutual fund. >> we are precisely the same in size. >> most of that. >> but what happens when you're the funding side. >> excuse me. >> what happens when you get the funding. >> well, first of all, we work
together. we complement each other. we complement each other in the facing off, which tehran today. we advocate each other and we have precisely the same funding level. and so there is no competition between us. there is a competition for federal resources, also competition for proving your work to survive to the public. and both are there circumstances the country as a whole, the endowments are, frankly, less well funded than they were 30 years ago. threepeat data in 1979 on inflation and dollars for about one-third of where we were in 1979. in terms of impact we would both argue that we are quite vibrant
and the fact, my institution, billion word agency. we have precipitated for publishing over a billion words. that is a rather impressive circumstance. >> what can i say. for those who don't know, the endowment in terms of the richer >> the book. >> we support nonprofit publishing throughout america. we are the primary source of funding for nonprofit the third publishing. >> and nonprofit. >> in minneapolis minnesota, one of the strongest midsize independent publishers designated as nonprofit demand and now we have an international audience. this must be explained. i went through this a couple of months ago. in the state's there is that
taxed as a nation which allowed a publisher to be essentially charitable. it moves itself out of the commercial realm and is designated as nonprofit. take charitable contributions to do that charitable work. that community had been chosen to be nonprofit and they tend to be publishers of high literary fiction translation. >> accidently. >> we do have a commitment with to individual writers and a writer gets a, we spend about a million dollars a year or invest million dollars a year every other year in either poetry or prose and allow rider more comfort to go into the commercial market knowing, perhaps, they can take a lower stance. we find translators.
that, too, is a wonderful thing because when someone comes out of our process of bonding translation it is more likely that there will say, oh, that what the national endowment for the our translation. i should really have a look at that. so we are fuelling the commercial economy as well. by supporting literary centers where riders free from their work by supporting workshops by writers, it -- i like to refer to it as the literary ecosystem, and we are all in it at some level rather. riders will move from gray wolf. we will find a small house in michigan. do that digital backroads of a lot of writers to fall out of print at simon and schuster and random house because there is no value in that copyright at simon and schuster random house. so and they're fighting and playing. the relationship to the commercial field.
we do appear review. so we actually look to the commercial world for their advice of oregon. we can use that advice to help our nonprofit. >> when i was at random house, one of the most distinguished. they invented. the couple hundred thousand. this particular occasion it was about 300,000. it was the history of the spanish inquisition. don't worry about that. well, that was really actually in the end of the book said he recommended. a very tricky publishing. in just a mention one instance.
i have told books and the library association. towboats. night and day. and i said, let me argue with my chairman about weather every book should be publishable. it can't be both. a said, these books, tell me what profit there were. came back again. lost $3,603,000 of those books. go away. go through the editors' choices. twenty-seven books of the new york times. that's the good news. now 367,000.
published to that made a profit of 2 million. the world of publishing. in terms of the book, thomas said this in their defense, often publishing books then there were going to lose. we can't make it work. and then surprise surprise occasionally it does. that's why was asking. >> give back to the title of this which is about how cultural institutions to help. and that is publishing goes through a very radical transition, there needs to be a call for more cultural institutions to come to the aid of literature and publishing, libraries, scholars because that investment, that commercial publishers make will likely be smaller as the profits are smaller, as they are on digital books, as we see merger between
places like random house and penguin, as we see layoffs across the industry, as we see a lack of independent bookstores. as we see libraries fighting with their communities about space and how to find money to go digital to help people. as we find that the arts of the first thing to be cut and scholarship is the first thing to be cut in this culture. i think we need to address what cultural institutions can do and how many of us need to actually carry that torch and get out there and find more support for the field of literature and library and scholarship. >> in journalism where i come from, the similar crisis, investigative reporting is very expensive. so the newspapers, british
investigative journalist. philanthropic ventures. i sort of felt uneasy about that. >> the third allegiance, they provide transfer programs as well as giving libraries the opportunity to have creation's basis. that people who rent their own books to million people as well as adults to turn our libraries into not just replace and that has been really healthy for public dollars and the grand so far for a single library, it was
actually a call to publishers that libraries will invest and libraries will be supported, just like they have been with the other. just coming together, the digital public libraries. another example of everyone participating. we will survive in the digital age. >> just out of curiosity, there have been priced issues between the publishers and the library. digital books have been priced very high. can you tell me how that's going to back. >> well, during a certain time several years ago, feisty fighters for freedom. >> he said. i didn't. so basically we are your partner. we have always been your
partners. people who can't purchase the bookstores were having difficulties, 86 authors, talking about the favored independent bookstore. we are the public universities, the place that everyone can get materials. and so we should be part. important for the librarians to actually make some changes in the way we purchase. we have alleged fraud resources that are just selecting. buy structures need to reflect that as well. >> any ideas from other countries, use of a cultural institutions. one example. recently. istanbul, robo book.
my wife when and. it's a building. which is full of all the things mentioned in the novel. the diaries. and people have been going in to shops asking to buy this particular handbag which is mentioned in the book. the museum is entirely made up of things from the imagination. these people, objects never existed. so you get to the museum, look at the the state, the duchess lipton, it's all in the museum. it's complete fake. so they go in there. they read these novels.
the idea, the museum is an artifact of a fictional book. the fictional book is a real physical life in the museum. >> and that is the creativity. librarians. >> of a really wonderful creation and a library that people could create once they saw in their minds and a book. the greatest criticism when you see a movie that was made from a book. no, that's not what i thought it was like. everybody does that. it should have been like that. the creation stations. it's been a lot of time. >> there are analogies, that's for sure. adopting any book is been published with they -- someone in the private sector sang you put my candy bar in this book
and we will pay you. they do that for movies. but there are lots of -- >> there into the product placement years ago. and it was quite controversial. it was really kind of a post-modern print for her what the bond up throwing back interface. maybe we'll get there. >> there are lots of -- the nonprofit world, lots of corporations the golan. in this room, here with the carnegie foundation. the american library association helping publishers putting out a muslim world book so. there will be 30 books on muslim cultural issues, over 800 libraries in the country. as a nonprofit kind of cooperative effort with the government and with institutions
of governance which levers are throughout the country. and so there is a lot of cooperative effort to that does take place. a lot of visuals that come to mind. my favored example is from a. [indiscernible] who wrote reading. she would say, can you name and american presidents of the 19th century? and very few could. one are to my say, was it lincoln? to and then she says, can you name an american literary figure all hands raise. mark twain. who is the bigger impact? a literary figure a political figure? very interesting. we think politics is a society.
really literature is the powerful driving circumstance. >> the institution was not mentioned. always assisted putting advertising in random house books. whether it be for pharmaceuticals. you take something like ian fleming's novel, james bond everybody, how does james bond drive to make the aston martin. of course. the aston martin. ..
the mint used bookstores. there was in fact things which offended many riders and there is a no add clause you might recall that exists throughout. when i was an agent time worked to launch one book through and add trace they had done with the new yorker because you take any opportunity you can. the media really works with
partners, particularly in liquor because they are looking for an up market audience and a reader of books is that allegedly of mark and audience. you will find that type of support there, but i don't think the numbers are really satisfying to advertising companies unless it is grisham. >> the reason i say this is random house will advertise in your books and what you advertise are other books, often by the same author but sometimes beyond. you do advertise. >> both festivals and in other places, any other ideas, any cultural institution we can recruit advertising within
libraries. >> small business administration would be a delightful federal partner for booksellers who are struggling to stay alive. i am on the other side of where the administration went with the department of justice case. the department of justice case on price fixing against publishers, their e-book prices which essentially from where i sit it intellectual property and technology and on the precipices of that funny divide where the tech center is using intellectual property in a way that doesn't compensate, the people who make it that there are many conversations about this at all later date. we are watching a lot of transition here. there are opportunities for all kinds of government land non-governmental partnerships. you had asked about other countries. france and most of the european
union supports book agreement. britain let it go and hurt the publishing industry and that agreement sets prices set and firm and every bookstore maintains the same price. i actually think it kept booksellers in business throughout europe and kept publishers in business throughout europe and provided riders -- >> one of the things really imagining at the moment, it constantly streams up the post -- [talking over each other] >> google and microsoft wanted to get rid of copyright but how can you sustain riders? they can't live on freeze. some of them can. >> partially why we are here. >> i you --
[talking over each other] >> the national endowment and humanities, the attitude to providing finance, publishing and books by copyright. >> we certainly -- for the people that produce literature, the people that produce history, perspectives. we are not in the business of making a llaw and we have an instinct -- supporting the concept of copyright and whether they should last 85 years or longer and what kind of access to digital capacities exist for books that are not being sold.